Sabine Kurtenbach

The ‘Happy Outcomes’ May Not Come at All – Postwar Violence in Central America

Civil Wars, 15, 2013

The non-recurrence of war is mostly considered as the main indicator for successful peace processes. Nevertheless, even in these postwar contexts, other forms of violence – i.e. state repression or homicide – have the potential to endanger the larger process of peace-building. Hence, the analysis of variations in postwar violence is important for the broader peace processes. Three interdependent factors explain variations in postwar violence: the patterns of war termination, policies aiming at the mitigation of the conflict root causes and last but not least institutional reforms. The different experiences of Central American postwar societies show that violence reduction does not require the resolution of major grievances but at least their political recognition.